Verse 5 in The Message is a good summary:
But if you see that the job is too big for you, that it’s something only God can do, and you trust him to do it—you could never do it for yourself no matter how hard and long you worked—well, that trusting-him-to-do-it is what gets you set right with God, by God. Sheer gift.Romans 4:5, MSG
I used three categories to chart the information in Romans 4:1-12.
|ABRAHAM||DAVID||QUALIFICATION FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS|
|Humanly speaking, the found of Judaism (1)||Declares joy & fullness inside when we realize that God’s work is enough, our sins are wiped clean (5-6)||Workers earn their wages, employers are obligated to pay them–it is not a gift (4)|
|Not chosen for good deeds or anything Abe could take credit for (2)||God does what humans cannot do. When we trust God to do it, He does it for us as a complete gift (5)|
|No reason for Abe to boast about himself (2)||Walk in the way of faith in God (12)|
|Abe entered into what God was doing for him (3)|
|Abe believed God & his faith transfered God’s righteousness into his account (TPT) (3, Gen. 15:6)|
|Circumcision was an external sign to confirm what Christ had already given to him by faith (11)|
|Spiritually speaking, Abe is the father of all who embrace what God does for them (12)|
Here’s what jumped out at me: The Bible was written for us to get to know God, to enter into conversation with Him, and develop our relationship with Him. It is a God-story, not a people-story (vs 2). God does what humans can’t do, and we have to trust God to do it. And He does. He saved us. He’s won the war. We don’t have to be afraid, just believe. Whether I live or whether I die, I am the Lord’s, a part of His Kingdom on earth and for eternity in heaven. And it’s God’s gift.
I hate to make mistakes, be slow on understanding something, constantly being the runner-up, missing the top 10… It’s my pride. My mother tells me that the third word I learned to say was “Myself!” I wanted to do it, to earn it, and to be able to say, “Look what I can do!” God tells me not to be so full of myself that I don’t have room for Him inside me. The truth of the matter is: I can’t, but He can.
Here’s my picture: God holds my hand, and like a child I try to pull mine out of his grasp–until I figure out I can go on without Him.